HOW SHOULD ATHEISM APPROACH EVIDENCE?

We must be certain about this.  If we say evidence is pointing us to something that does not agree with itself then the fault is,

# in planted evidence

# in including irrelevant evidence

# in our interpretation of the evidence

Or any combination.

An example would be that if God's love is contradicted by innocents suffering and it should not be put up with even by a God then it is an abuse of evidence to say that it tells us God exists.  Evidence that leads to nonsense is no good for telling us anything.

The evidence is actually telling us God is false.  Big lies do not agree with themselves and show themselves to be untrue.

We must be more certain about this.  It is not up to you or me or anybody to decide if there is or is not a God.  It is up to you to let the evidence direct you.  Same with everything.  Let the evidence teach you.  Even if bias is a problem that does nothing to invalidate that approach.  Rather it supports it.

If you define God as loving and truthful then God is the God of evidence too.

For that reason, while it is true that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, this is different.  Absence of evidence that there is somebody in your spare room means you can affirm there is nobody there.  The reason it is different is that persons communicate even if it is accidental.  God's silence is telling you not to believe.  Lack of belief in God then is atheism and is implied denial of the existence of God.  It is a form of denial. 

Some argue,

#Evidence is that which you can be aware of.

#To say that you lack belief in God for there is no evidence is assuming God can be something you can be aware of.

THEREFORE You need to show how you can be aware of God and know if you are aware of him that it is him before you can say that you lack belief.

This is nonsense.  You can have evidence and not be aware that it is evidence or what it is evidence for.

Now you can have evidence for some of the things that a God might do.  You don't need to be aware of a divine designer before you can recognise design.  So, the second premise is also wrong. "To say that you lack belief in God for there is no evidence is assuming God can be something you can be aware of."  Being aware that the evidence points to a loving intelligence that is bigger than you does not mean you need to be aware of the being itself on some kind of personal or experiential level. 

The argument insinuates that you are calling God an illusion and pretending to be directed by the evidence when in fact you are bringing assumptions in and pretending it's about the evidence.  They would say, "The problem is that you are implying you believe you can detect God and you are not showing how.  Now you are saying that failure to detect him justifies disbelief.  This is not fair.  You are implying it is true that you can detect without telling us how you know you really can.  You are arguing in circles."

The, "Why is there anything when there could be nothing?" is thrown at people in day to day life simply because it is hard to answer and is intimidating.  And it takes time to deal with it that people have not got.  That is its power. It makes God look like the best answer.  That is how it gets people to fail to challenge God belief.

Suppose there is nothing at all. Don’t forget the explanation then is that God chose not to create anything. So you end up looking for an explanation for nothing. That makes LESS sense than looking for your dog to have a kitten. The reason it makes no sense is that you are assuming God out of thin air and pretending it is such a good idea that it is more than just an assumption or a guess. Suppose there is something. It is easier to imagine you need a God to explain that.

FINALLY

Are those who say that the lack of evidence for God justifies thinking and living as if there is no God guilty of abusing evidence?  All of us should let the evidence direct our thinking.

Some say that if this is the case then all atheism falls. It falls because its starting point is that there is no reason to believe in God.

For God to be your main relationship he needs to be as close to you as you are to yourself.  For God to be your main or ultimate relationship you need evidence that you need God.  If he is not there that does not take away the need.  Most of us clearly do not need him most of the time.  People can go for weeks without praying.

So the sequence is,

I need evidence that I need a relationship with a loving higher power.

I need evidence that this higher power is real.

I need evidence that one particular version of him is the best and the most accurate.

None of these has any clear evidence.  If there were a God of love why would he let Christianity and Islam with their scriptures that call him good and still say he commanded evil things be so powerful?

Dan Barker says that asking that if there is no God then what is the purpose of life is like asking if there is no master then whose slave will I be? Christians say that God is the reason anything exists so God is not like somebody who becomes your master as in slavery.  He cannot be anything else even if he wishes things could be different.  But some slave masters inherit slaves and feel forced not to free them.  They remain abusers and slave masters. 

Slavery is not bad because some slaves have a terrible time.  Some slaves have a terrible time because slavery is bad.  In fact it is nice if a slave is treated well.  But that makes slavery worse not better.  Why?  It is admitting that the slave is a person with needs and who needs respect.  Yet you are supporting a system that regards them as property.  For that reason, being part of the system means you are guilty by association when masters beat up their slaves and kill them.  The person putting a small amount of poison in the drinking water along with 10,000 others is still a murderer.  People die.  The system works so well for many slaves are given nice food and clothes.  The good is really a prop for the evil system.  It is an insult to the intelligence.

Nobody tells you what this purpose of life means and how you know you will reach it and if it will last. You can glean that they think it is not even the same for everybody.  See it for what it is, emotional blackmail.  It is manipulation.  For religion to keep the focus so much on the existence and love of God is bizarre when there is a black hole, a vacuum, with the real question, "Why am I here?"



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